Before a Work Task Begins

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Before a Task Begins (Safety Talk)

As part of your job, you may have to complete a wide array of tasks throughout the day. On the other hand, you may only focus on one or two tasks for your entire shift. No matter if you are completing a few or many different work tasks, there are multiple factors that need to be taken into account and actions taken to ensure a work task is completed safely and efficiently.

memory toolbox talkHuman Performance Factors

Some of the most important focus items that you should pay attention to prior to a work task beginning is human performance factors. These factors affect your ability to complete a job safely and efficiently. Some human performance factors include illness, fatigue, knowledge, focus, attention, understanding, stress, etc. It is important to understand how and when these different factors are limiting your ability to complete a work task safely.

Tools and Personnel

After you consider the factors that could possibly affect you at an individual level during the task, you need to ensure that you have the correct tools for the job. You must also take into account whether the correct personnel are present for the work task as well. Having the correct tools and personnel in place prior to a work task beginning ensures that you are able to complete it safely and efficiently. When the correct tools or personnel are not in place, then shortcuts are often taken to make up for the missing parts of the equation, which puts everyone at risk.

Implementing Safeguards

Taking the time to go through the proper steps to ensure all the safety procedures are followed and all of the necessary safeguards are in place is critical. Every single safeguard is important. The more safeguards that are put into place and are followed for a work task, the less likely an incident will occur that results in injury or property loss. Considering human performance factors and ensuring the correct tools are in place are two basic safe work practices. There can be many more that need to be put into place before a work task can begin.


There are many things that need to be considered prior to a work task beginning- even just a simple one. While this talk may make it seem like it is a drawn-out process, for most tasks, it is not. It is just a reminder to think about all the different considerations that need to be thought of as well as actions that need to be taken prior to a work task beginning. Proper preplanning is critical to the safe and efficient operations of every work task.

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